Created By: Apollo13 on December 14, 2012 Last Edited By: Arivne on January 3, 2018

I Allowed You To Capture Me

A character has been imprisoned but reveals that it was all part of their plan.

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So the villain has been captured. The heroes have valiantly infiltrated his lair, braved his traps and his fiendish henchmen before finally doing battle with the Big Man himself. They fight, they win, he's captured and taken to prison in chains. Everyone's applauding. The embodiment of evil, destruction, tyranny and people who talk in the theatre has been brought to justice. But hang on: he seems awfully cocky given the fact that he's imprisoned and pending execution. Maybe it's just posturing. But then he did seem unusually easy to defeat. And wait a minute: the film's only an hour in. What was that? It sounded like an explosion? Why is he smiling. Oh, Crap!. Looks like he allowed you to capture him.

Basically, this is when a character allows themselves to be captured and taken to their enemy's headquarters just so that they can break out of their cell and strike at the heart of their opponent, right in the place where they feel safe. No, not like that.

Usually this is the ploy of a villainous Magnificent Bastard although a Guile Hero can pull it off too. Extra points if the willing captive gives his jailers a Hannibal Lecture.


[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
  • Played wonderfully straight by the Joker in The Dark Knight. He's got Batman at his mercy and is about to perform the coup de grace when Jim Gordon comes back from the dead and places him under arrest. Unfortunately, while in jail, he manages to detonate a bomb in the stomach of one of the inmates, blowing up the prison and somehow enabling him to escape without a scratch whilst making off with all of the money in there.
  • In The Avengers, Loki does battle with Captain America and Tony Stark in Stuttgart and after a brief fight is taken into custody. Unfortunately, this enables him to wind up The Avengers until his henchmen arrive and bust him out and Bruce Banner goes Hulk on his teammates, allowing Loki to make off with the McGuffin.
  • Raoul Silva in Skyfall is taken captive by Bond and even incarcerated in a glass cell like Loki's. But as MI-6 soon discover, this is just so that he can hack into their computers, automatically open his cell, waltz through the London underground and into the middle of a court room to shoot M.
  • Hannibal King attempts this in Blade: Trinity however it doesn't go entirely according to plan.

  • Played with since he's already been captured, but Hannibal Lector in Silence of the Lambs manipulates his captors into taking him to a less secure prison so that he can have an interview with the senator whose daughter has been kidnapped by the resident serial killer. After enjoying a full gourmet dinner in his cell, Hannibal savagely beats the two police officers guarding him to death before escaping wearing the face of one of them as a disguise.
  • In Artemis Fowl: The Lost Colony, Artemis allows Big Bad wannabe Minerva Paradizo to capture an Elf only so that she can escape and erase all of Minerva's research and stroll out of the place.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
  • After allowing Joshua Naismith to bring him to his manor house as a prisoner in order to fix the Immortality Gate, the Master effortlessly tears off his bonds before leaping into the Gate and using it to turn everyone on Earth into an extension of himself. It Makes Sense in Context.

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